Barn Burner: Taking a look at the newest Calgary Flame, Artem Grushnikov

Dallas Stars prospect Artem Grushnikov.
Photo credit:Dallas Stars
Justin Mackenzie
1 month ago
On Thursday’s episode of Barn Burner, Boomer, Pinder, and Rhett provided listeners their first impression on recently acquired defenceman Artem Grushnikov.
Grushnikov was one of the pieces in the trade that saw former Flame Chris Tanev head south to Texas to join the Dallas Stars ahead of the NHL trade deadline. In addition to the 20-year-old Russian defenceman, Calgary also received two picks; a second rounder and a conditional third rounder (if the Stars reach the Stanley Cup finals).
In 44 games with the AHL’s Texas Stars this season, Grushnikov has a goal and four assists while carrying a plus three rating. Despite the low point output from the player, that might not be a worry for the Flames based on Boomer’s analysis.
“They are not going to judge him on what he does offensively… It’s what he does on the defensive side why they made this trade. It’s his skating, his stick work, he’s a physical guy, and he’s twenty.”
One of the biggest assets that drove the Flames to targeting Grushnikov as part of the deal isn’t even related to his on-ice ability. Multiple sources close to the player have spoke highly of his character and work ethic, including his now former head coach, Neil Graham:
Pinder: “This guy is winning people over anywhere he goes. As a Russian guy that’s not often easy to do because it’s a different culture, it’s not home. He has gotten sterling character references anywhere he goes. That doesn’t mean he’s going to be a great hockey player, but you don’t have to worry about the character.”
While some Flames fans might be underwhelmed in the return for one of the premier defensive defencemen in the league, this management sees their newest addition as a significant complimentary piece to an already strong group of offensively gifted defensive prospects.
Boomer: “They looked at their cupboard and said ‘offence, offence, offence, we’re going to have to do a lot of teaching on the defence side’… That’s why this deal was done. Conroy said as much yesterday in that they get this guy because of the offensive abilities [in the system].”
Grushnikov, according the the AHL website, has been assigned to the Calgary Wranglers who will host the Colorado Eagles on Friday night at the Scotiabank Saddledome.
Check out Thursday’s episode in full here:

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